zandax online course logo
Home
 
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login
Learn
Tests

9 Time Management Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

From the ZandaX Time Management Blog

Articles to help you get more from every day of your life

9 Time Management Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner
A post from our Time Management blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
I have a few painful memories of how much time I wasted at work in my 20s. I have even worse memories of studying in my teens. And, sadly, most of these tough times were of my own making.

I'm talking about...
  • work days that stretched into the late work nights, as I struggled to meet deadlines
  • panic over how I would finish a project I had left until the very last moment
  • battling against endless procrastination
  • not knowing how to get started on a big project that seemed insurmountable
  • missing out on social occasions because I hadn't got my work done in time
  • spending too long on a task I wanted to do perfectly, then not having enough time to finish other important jobs

If you're in your 30s or older, you might have similar memories. Or, if you're in your 20s, perhaps you're wasting as much time now as I once did. Well, you're in luck.

I remember all too well what it's like to manage time badly. But now, after years of experience, I also know how to manage time well.

So, I'm passing on my knowledge. Here are the 9 time management hacks that could've saved me from all those stressful work days.

If you're still a youngster, maybe they can give you a leg-up. If you're an old hand, I hope you'll enjoy this trip down memory lane. Let's go.

Tired man working late

1. Plan for only 4-5 hours of actual work per day

We'd all like to go at 100mph from 9am until 5pm. But the truth is, putting that kind of pressure on yourself is a real productivity killer.

So stop. Plan to work solidly for 4 to 5 hours per day instead – a reasonable amount, given necessary distractions like phone calls, emails and breaks.

This way, you'll have a realistic target you can hit every day. And you won't feel bad for not pulling up trees every day.

2. If it's just not happening, change things up

It's hard to come to terms with. But some days, you just can't seem to get anything done.

In my 20s, I couldn't accept this. If I couldn't get into the zone, I would stay at my desk, staring at the screen, my papers, or a blank sheet. Hours went by on these days, and I would achieve virtually nothing.

The boredom and frustration would wear me out. Which meant I was less productive the next day, too!

Eventually, I learned to recognise these non-productive days and to do one of two things:
  • Switch to another kind of task
  • Take a break and come back with a clear head

After a rest, or after you've got into a rhythm with the other task, you can go back to what you were doing originally. And it will suddenly seem much easier.

Of course, if it's a task you need to get done quickly, then you need another approach. Such as...

3. Break down hard tasks into smaller, easier ones

Nothing kills motivation like the prospect of a massive project. Especially if you don't know to get started on it.

But the solution is simple. You just need to break the project down into its constituent tasks.

These constituent tasks will be smaller and easier. So, you can get them done fast, and work yourself into a productive rhythm. Pretty soon you'll be feeling good about yourself, and ready to achieve everything you need to.

Want to Manage Your Time Better?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $109 – limited time offer just $12



4. Prioritise everything

Breaking big jobs into smaller tasks is a good start. Prioritising them makes sure you get the most important things done first.

This is especially useful if, like many people, you work better under a little bit of pressure.

Personally speaking, I find it hard to get motivated for a task that isn't due until next week. But when something is due by close of business? Then it's easy to be focused!

Organize your tasks into urgent and non-urgent categories – or whatever works for you – and do the most important ones first. You'll feel motivated and in control of your time.

5. Make daily to-do lists

I can't guarantee it will have the same effect on you, but this little psychological hack works on me every time.

I used to write them in my notebook. Nowadays I will use an app like OneNote, where I can simply click to check off tasks I've completed.

There's nothing better than having a completed to-do list at the end of the day. It provides validation that you've done a good day's work. And that, in turn, helps you to really relax and enjoy your time off.

Write a to-do list today!

6. Set deadlines and stick to them

Many tasks at work have a strict deadline, set by your boss or client. But some don't – like personal or business development tasks you initiated yourself, for example.

It's easy to put a task like this on your to-do list, then ignore it. After all, you don't really need to do it today.

Well, if you don't really need to do it, why is it on your list? Because you do need to do it!

You need to stop putting off tasks like this. And the best way is to set a deadline and stick to it.

Without a deadline, a task will probably never get done. Set deadlines for everything you want to achieve – and achieve them.
work meeting

7. Set meeting times as early in the day as possible

This trick can save you many lost hours, simply because the time leading up to a meeting is so often wasted.

Why is it wasted? Because you're so busy thinking about the meeting, it pulls your focus away from your work.

If you hold your meetings first thing, at the start of the day, you can get on with your work with a clear head afterwards.

Hold meetings at 9am, or earlier, and you'll find you get more done the rest of the day.

8. Group meetings together

The same applies when you have several meetings in the same day.

A meeting is an interruption of your work. Every time you stop work for a meeting, you change your headspace. And you cannot simply dive straight back into work afterwards – it takes time to get back into your rhythm.

If you group meetings together in one block, you will have one longer block of focused work time.

Always group meetings together!

9. Use reminder tools to plan your time

This last hack brings everything together in one handy place.

Now you've read this article, you've got a lot of new techniques to try out. And they require a fair bit of organization. So let your computer and your smartphone help you put them into action.

Apps like OneNote or Google Calendar are free, they make it easy to manage your time, and they even give you reminders when you need to do something or be somewhere.

Use them!

If only I'd known all this in my 20s...

I could have wasted less time and enjoyed a lot more leisure time if I'd known all these time management tricks at the start of my career.

If any of them are new to you, give them a try. It might just change your working life for the better!

Enjoyed this article? Click on a button below to read more - and remember, if you need time management training, you've come to the right place!

P.S. In case you're not sure about how good your own time management abilities are, we have a free, personalised test that you can take and finish in about 5 minutes, which can be found here.

Want to Manage Your Time Better?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $109 – limited time offer just $12

}
More Recommended Articles
Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
 
 
online logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2021
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
Likeability
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?


Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Assertiveness
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?


Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management


Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback


Close menu element
Learn About:
 
Personal Development
 
Marketing
 
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio
 
 

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel Introduction
Microsoft Excel Professional
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft Excel Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
 
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
 
 
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting.
... There's lots more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this